It’s easy to get carried away as you hunt for your dream home, and when you think you’ve finally found it, you might be tempted to put in an offer right then and there! Indeed, reports show that many homeowners spend less than 30 minutes in their potential new home before making an offer. Most of us spend longer researching our vacations!
This rush can cause you to miss out on key details that can have a big impact on your quality of life after you’ve moved in. Neglecting to carry out a few basic examinations can also cost you extra money you might not have budgeted for, putting a strain on your wallet from day one. Before you make your offer, check out the following 5 things that homeowners regret not checking before buying their homes.
Meeting the Neighbours
Even the most perfect house can become a drag if your new neighbours aren’t what you were expecting. Noisy neighbours can keep you and your family awake at night, while more undesirable residents can make life in your dream home a nightmare.
Before making an offer on another house, many homeowners agree that it would be advantageous to meet the neighbours beforehand. While you can’t really know someone from a brief visit, first impressions are important and you’ll get a good idea about whether you’d feel happy calling them your neighbours.
Inspecting the Utilities
Another major gripe among overly eager homeowners is the home they’ve moved into is lacking in properly functioning utilities. Plumbing is a major point here, and many homeowners wished they’d taken more time to check the water pressure, toilet flush, and shower among many others. Simple checks such as running the hot taps or shower, or flushing the toilet, will give you a good idea as to what state they’re in. Check also the central heating, and try to find out how efficient it is in winter.
The state of the electrical components are similarly important, and it’s a good idea to test as many switches and lights as you can, while also checking you have enough sockets for your needs. Forgetting to make these simple checks can cause inconvenience when you first move into your new place, and can cost you if you need to make upgrades.
Checking for Security
Ensuring your new home is safe and secure is probably among your top priorities. However, security features may be low on the list as you view a home, and it can be easy to forget to have a proper look. In doing so, you may find your new home is not adequately secured against intruders.
Besides your own safety, some insurers won’t cover your home unless it meets the basic standards. So, you’ll have to invest in upgrades, which can soon become costly if you haven’t budgeted for them in advance. Check all doors and windows, ensuring that quality locks are fitted. Also, make sure any alarms or security lights are working properly.
Spending Time in the Area
Life is busy, and sometimes you might only be able to visit a potential home at a certain time. The house and neighbourhood can appear flawless when you visit in the early evening, but you may be in for a surprise or two after you’ve moved in.
Your area could suffer from heavy traffic during rush hours, effectively blocking you in, a common issue with homes near schools. Alternatively, you might find your new home is close to an active railway line or flight path, which can cause a lot of noise throughout the day. It’s worth spending time in the area to get a full picture of what everyday life will be like.
Reading the Small Print
Buying property is no simple transaction and it comes with a lot of paperwork to wade through. Depending on the type of property you buy, it may also be subject to numerous rules and regulations. For example, if there’s a homeowners association in your area, strict rules can dictate anything from where you can park your car, to what colour you can paint your fence.
It’s also worth double checking whether yours is a freehold or leasehold, with leaseholds typically subject to far tighter rules. For those with children, it’s essential to double check which school district you’re served by, rather than assuming that the closest school is the one your kids will go to.
Many homeowners regret rushing in without making these 5 checks. By spending a little time and effort however, you can save yourself a lot of worry and money further down the line, and ensure that life in your new home gets off to a great start.